Definitions of Religion

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Substantive definitions:

Focuses on the content of religious belief, such as a belief in God or the supernatural. Weber (1905) defines religion as a belief in a superior or supernatural power that is above nature and cannot be explained scientifically.

Substantive definitions are exclusive beliefs they draw a clear line between religious and non-religious beliefs. In order to be a religion, there must be a belief in God or the supernatural.

Functional Definitions:

Defined in terms of social or psychological functions it performs for the individuals or society. Durkheim (1915) defines religion in terms of the contribution it makes to social integration rather

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